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60 hour/ two day water fasts
So as many of you on here know, I water fast for 36-40 hours twice a week.
I find 36 hours with no food much easier than trying to count calories and have a small meal during a fast day. In fact, I find it so easy I intend to do it for the rest of my life, albeit reduced to one day a week when I reach my target weight. I have experienced wonderful benefits which I bang on about quite a lot all over this board.
I've also done two 60 hours fasts before - last meal on Sunday night and nothing except water right through until Wednesday morning. The first time I did it was almost by accident. I have a crazy job and I just didn't get time to eat on the day after my normal fast. I didn't feel hungry when I got home, so decided not to eat and see how I got on. I like to experiment with things like that. The smallest change can give the greatest satisfaction. My husband and I take pretty unusual holidays to see wildlife and unexplored places and I like to keep an eye out for new things to try. This week I'm trying an alcohol-free week. I never want to be stuck in my ways, but I'm no radical either.
Now, the next morning, at the 60 hour mark, I felt rubbish - really pretty awful - weak, sickly and nauseous. I also felt I had 'true hunger', a sort of deep down need for fuel, and so ate a banana. Bananas are my food of choice for breaking a fast - full of energy and easy to digest. And boy, it tasted like the most delicious, gourmet banana ever. Like a banana you'd pay 50 quid for instead of 50p. To be honest, the fast was worth it for the taste of that banana alone!
So I tried it again a couple of weeks later. I had no intention of doing any more than 60 hours, but I've experienced a great sense of wellbeing following 36 hour fasts and I wondered if a slightly longer fast would boost that further. Many people suggest a long water fast is ideal to kick start health benefits and detoxify. I'm also doing 5:2 for weight loss and a wee bump along that road would do no harm I reckoned.
After the second 60 hour fast, I felt ok on the Wednesday morning, but not great and again I had a breakfast of fruit and a little toast. I never normally eat breakfast so my 60 hour fast should really be 65 hours until midday. But I felt I had to eat first thing or I just wouldn't have enough energy for the day ahead.
After reading MGMs inspirational thread on her long water fast, I decided to try another 60 hour fast. After all, the 36 hour water fasts were fairly tough at first but became easy after a few gos. I wasn't looking to boost weight loss as looking at my stats, I didn't actually lose more weight when I did the previous 60 hour fasts - and I did my normal Thursday fast as well so it was really 4:3 water fasting. I lost a pound each of those weeks. Although I notice I did lose 3 pounds on the week following each of the 60 hour fasts, but they might just have just been extra stressful weeks at work so I wouldn't necessarily link causality to the 4:3 week.
But I wanted to try the 60 hour fast again. Maybe I was subconsciously motivated by not losing anything last week (I stated at 10s 7), but it really hadn't bothered me so I doubt it. And as I decided to do Tuesday and Wednesday this week, it would only be 5:2, not 4:3. I prefer to fast Monday to Thursday and have a 'normal' weekend. I suppose I really just wanted to see if I could do it again and if it got easier. I love the sense of control and the adventure of it.
So I fasted Tuesday and yesterday this week. Now, I have no problems whatsoever not eating for that length of time. After 3 months of fasting twice a week I completely understand my hunger. I can cook for others, watch them eat, smell bacon and all the rest without the slightest difficulty. I experience no side effects and I have no medical conditions (and have had an MoT to confirm that). I just get into the mindset that I'm not eating that day and I just, well, don't eat. Simple.
This 60 hour fast was absolutely the easiest, as I didn't even have to think about it during the two days. I was in meetings with biscuits and pastries and sandwiches and never gave any a second glance. By yesterday evening I was thinking - I could do this for a third, or even fourth day it's so easy. I went to bed and slept as soundly as ever.
However, this morning when I woke up I felt weak - I mean really pathetically weak. I wasn't hungry in the traditional sense of craving some kind of food but I was weak. I had to sit down between showering and drying my hair! Not good - I'm 36 for goodness sake and reasonably active. So I decided b*gger this and ate a banana and some toast and sat down to do my emails. Felt 100% better within 20 minutes.
Maybe I'm a wimp and I should have ploughed on with it. But I'm not much of a masochist and when I weighed myself this morning I was down 3 pounds from last Friday (10s7 down to 10s4) so sure you can't be bad to that! Just 6/7 pounds to go to my target weight so only a month or two of doing two water fasts a week should have it licked and I'll move on to maintenance.
So I have concluded that 60 hour fasting is not for me. As the two 36-40 hour water fasts each week are perfectly sustainable, giving me weight loss and lots of other benefits, I reckon I'll stick to that and think myself lucky!
This is not to say that I'm cautioning against longer water fasts for others - Michael Mosley proved the benefits of a four day fast and lots of people have had huge success, especially MGM who remains an inspiration. I think everyone should try a water fast - even if its only for a short few hours just to see what it's like to be in control rather than the food advertisers for once. The key is to listen to your own body carefully. I did and it told me 60 hours was plenty and to reach for a banana.
There's really nothing to fear from water fasting if you are in good health except your own reluctance. My main fear with fasting is that I might start to take the benefits for granted! Hence the keenness to blog here and shout about my success on the Board.
I think Michael Mosley should be so proud. Ok he didn't invent fasting, but he brought it into the mainstream. If he had advocated water fasting straight off the block, I don't think 5:2 would have taken off. Promoting 5:2 with 25% calories on fast days seems reasonable, works for a hell of a lot of people and has given a few more, like me, a stepping stone to water fasting.
So I conclude that fasting - in all its wonderful variations - is liberating, insightful and beneficial. Long live fasting!
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Lovely post overall but what stood out the most for me was this: "I just get into the mindset that I'm not eating that day and I just, well, don't eat. Simple." Amen to that!
6 stones lost. Now maintaining.
really interesting post redhead. What with all the stuff going on at the moment with the 36hour fast all kicked off by Wildmissus, this makes interesting and inspiring reading - thank you.
There is nothing wrong with the situation, just my attitude towards it!
I don't eat Mondays or Thursdays
My method: 5:2 Liquid only 16:8 on non-fast days
Hah figured it out.
You have to view the blog from the "view blog" in your details to be able to leave a comment ( i think)
Anyway as I mentioned on the forum. Thanks for posting about your experience, you write really well and I always enjoy reading your posts. You bring a lot to the forum, fair play to you girl!
Back to finish the job with my fasting buddies Bobshouse & Moo
Thank you for sharing your experience with water fasting, It is something I have considered trying in the future, I'm currently on the 5:2. I think like you said it is about listening to your body and learning when you truley need the food. Since starting the 5:2 i find that I don't really need breakfast anyday so I'm going with that for the time being to see what the results are. I hope I will find that one fast day I might not fancy my evening meal and then I will try the more extended fast.
7 replies • Page 1 of 1
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